FBI, Police Search Home of Chad Daybell in Missing Idaho Kids Case
A search warrant was executed at Chad Daybell's Fremont County, Idaho home Tuesday morning, according to police.
Police and FBI agents are searching the Idaho home of end-times author and publisher Chad Daybell as part of their ongoing investigation into the disappearance of his wife's two children, Joshua "JJ" Vallow and Tylee Ryan, the Rexburg Police Department announced Tuesday.
Officers arrived at Chad's home at 7 a.m. to begin the search. JJ, 8, and Tylee, 17, haven't been seen since September and Chad's wife, Lori Vallow Daybell, is currently being held on $1 million bond at an Idaho jail, facing two counts of felony desertion, as well as misdemeanor charges of resisting and obstructing an officer, solicitation of a crime and contempt, according to the Madison County, Idaho, prosecutor's office. Lori has pleaded not guilty and denied all allegations of wrongdoing.
The Rexburg Police Department, Fremont County Sheriff's Department and FBI all assisted in searching Chad's home. More information has not been made publicly available because the warrant is sealed, Rexburg Police Department Assistant Chief Gary Hagen said in a statement.
Chad and Lori's attorney, Mark Means, did not immediately respond to InsideEdition.com's request for comment.
Days before police searched Chad's home, a woman who published three books with Chad and once considered him a friend spoke out, asking him to "do the right thing" when it comes to JJ and Tylee.
Suzanne Freeman told EastIdahoNews.com's Nate Eaton she met Chad 16 years ago after a friend connected her with him to write about her near-death experience. At the time, Chad and his wife, Tammy Daybell, ran Spring Creek Book Company, which they founded in 2004.
Chad, who had written about his own near-death experiences, wrote about meeting Suzanne on his website, calling her "a humble housewife from a small Utah town [who] had actually died, met the Savior, and returned."
Together, Chad and Suzanne published three books, Led by the Hand of Christ in 2005, Through the Window of Life in 2006, and The Spirit of Liberty in 2013, according to Chad's website.
Suzanne said she was impressed and moved by Chad's love for his wife, whom he described as his "soul mate."
"Tammy, she was a sweetheart, I think she was the heart of the business, she was just really good at it, really kind and really genuine. He would talk at least twice, and probably more, that she was his soul mate," Suzanne told EastIdahoNews.com. "I was impressed by that, I thought, 'Wow, they have a really sweet relationship, really tender.' And I was impressed by him and by that, how humble he was and how he felt about his wife. That’s not very common."
"I was really honored to be Chad’s friend early on, because I love to see good men, there’s good men out there and I like associating with good people," she added.
Suzanne said she was shocked to learn of Tammy's sudden death on Oct. 19, 2019. Tammy, 49, was found dead in her home, police said, and her death was initially believed to be from natural causes. A later investigation "determined that [Tammy] Daybell's death may be suspicious," according to police. Her body was exhumed and an autopsy was performed, the results of which are still pending.
A few weeks after Tammy's death, Chad and Lori wed on the beach in Hawaii on Nov. 5, something that also surprised Suzanne.
"What I first heard was that Chad went to Hawaii and found a widow there and got married, and I thought, God, Chad really loved his wife, why would he marry that soon? That just doesn’t make any sense. She’s not even cold in the grave, why would he remarry that fast?" Suzanne said.
Lori and Chad are now under investigation by the Idaho Attorney General's office for "conspiracy, attempted murder and/or murder" in Tammy's death. Neither Chad nor Lori have been charged with any crime in connection to Tammy's death and both deny all allegations of wrongdoing.
Suzanne pleaded with her former friend to help find JJ and Tylee.
"Chad, we get deceived, we all get deceived, but please do the right thing, just know that there are people who love you and will back you up, just do the thing that you know is right," she said.
The Rexburg Police Department asks anyone with information regarding JJ and Tylee's whereabouts or welfare to contact the department at 1-208-359-3000 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) at 1-800-THE-LOST.
JJ has brown hair and brown eyes, is 4 feet tall and weighs 50 pounds. He has autism and "may be in need of medical attention," according to authorities. Tylee has blonde hair and blue eyes, is 5 feet tall and weighs 160 pounds.
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